Charities with most Facebook likes

After putting together a list of the top 10 charities in terms of number of Twitter followers, I’ve now done the same for Facebook likes.

Looking at how the list has changed since the beginning of the year, the Facebook story is similar, at least on the face of it, to that of Twitter.

The top 10 is virtually the same as in January; the only difference is that the National Trust has entered the list at number 9.

Facebook likes

  1. Cancer Research UK, 1,455,897
  2. BBC Children in Need, 1,346,454
  3. Dog’s Trust, 994,687
  4. Macmillan, 690,543
  5. IFAW UK, 688,515
  6. Breast Cancer Now, 638,852
  7. Royal British Legion, 625,557
  8. Help for Heroes, 616,188
  9. National Trust, 606,288
  10. Marie Curie, 602,618

It is also interesting that, on the whole, charities with the biggest audiences in January haven’t necessarily grown them fastest.

The exception is Cancer Research UK, which started the year with an astonishing 1.36 million likes. Its increase of 95,353 since then is by far the biggest in the sector.

But apart from Cancer Research UK, only one of the charities in January’s top 10 in (IFAW UK) is in the top 10 for fastest growing audiences since then.

In terms of growth, RSPB stands out in particular. It wasn’t even in the top 30 for Facebook likes at the start of the year, but since then has had the third fastest growth.

Its 50,946 extra likes represents an amazing 24% increase since January. This is especially impressive given that some charities with hundreds of thousands of likes have seen their audience grow by fewer than 1,000 over the same period.

Growth in Facebook likes since January

  1. Cancer Research UK, 95,353
  2. National Trust, 53,319
  3. RSPB, 50,946
  4. Alzheimer’s Society, 44,192
  5. BHF, 40,177
  6. IFAW UK, 37,700
  7. Woodland Trust, 34,303
  8. WWF, 33,752
  9. Amnesty UK, 26,690
  10. Cats Protection, 24,851

As always with looking at social media audiences, it’s worth remembering that these kind of rankings don’t tell the whole story; there’s much more to using Facebook well than how many likes you’ve got. Hopefully it’s a useful finger in the air, but it isn’t anything more than that.


The list of charities was based on the Charity Financials list of the top 100 fundraising charities, not including charities that were more cultural institutions than fundraising charities (eg Tate Britain and the National Gallery) or those without a significant social media presence. I also added nine charities not in the Charity Financials list that have a famous brand or big social media presence. Data was recorded on July 4, 2017, and compared to that of 29 December, 2016.

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